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China sends 10 military aircraft, 4 navy ships, 4 balloons around Taiwan

MND detected 233 Chinese military aircraft and 110 naval vessels in January

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Map shows flight paths of four Chinese balloons on Jan. 25. (MND image)

Map shows flight paths of four Chinese balloons on Jan. 25. (MND image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) tracked 10 Chinese military aircraft, four naval vessels, and four balloons around the country between 6 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 25) and 6 a.m. Friday (Jan. 26).

The defense ministry said that of the 10 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, two entered the southwest air defense identification zone (ADIZ). They came within 155 km (84 NM) of Eluanbi.

The MND said it monitored the situation with its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance system. In response, it scrambled combat patrol aircraft, dispatched naval vessels, and deployed land-based air defense missile systems.

In addition, the MND said four Chinese balloons were detected at 6:51 a.m., 11:43 a.m., 11:48 a.m., and 3:17 p.m. on Thursday after crossing the median line. The first and third were detected 105 km (57 NM) and 94 km (51 NM) northwest of Taichung, the second 148 km (80 NM) northwest of Keelung, and the fourth 207 km (112 NM) northeast of Pingtung.

Their altitudes were 4,500 m (15,000 ft), 4,800 m (16,000 ft), 5,400 m (18,000 ft), and 5,100 m (17,000 ft), respectively. The balloons flew in an easterly direction, sequentially disappearing at 7:35 a.m., 12:39 p.m., 12:32 p.m., and 8:27 p.m. on Thursday.

Thus far in January, the MND has detected 233 Chinese military aircraft and 110 naval vessels. Since September 2020, Beijing has increasingly employed the use of "gray zone tactics" in the form of deployments of military aircraft and naval vessels over the median line and inside Taiwan's ADIZ.

According to CSIS, gray zone tactics are “an effort or series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resorting to direct and sizable use of force."

China sends 10 military aircraft, 4 navy ships, 4 balloons around Taiwan
(MND image)